Excellent article of about importance of soap history. Talks alot of ATWT & AW how Irna used those 2 soaps to tell her own pain. Simply wonderful!
At the end of World War II, my grandparents met and fell in love. She was a well-born, Anglo-Saxon English girl and he was a streetsmart Afro-Latino American GI. It was at least five years before she found the courage to come to this country to be with the man she loved after her family cut all ties with her.
In the beginning, life wasn't easy for either of them but it was especially hard on my grandmother who, having grown up sheltered and privileged, had never known racism or poverty or social stigma. To this day, my grandmother says it was the American soaps that were her lifeline during those years of struggle. Those characters on The Guiding Light, As the World Turns, Search For Tomorrow, etc. were a source of comfort to her in pain and entertainment when prosperity followed.
All of us soapfans owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Irna Phillips.
SoapArmageddon you just stated beautifully unintentionally but what this great nation is all about...a melting pot of immigrants. All the backlash and ridiculous laws targeting immigrants today.
As for Irna she took her own pain turned it into an industry. She was the first to develop what we call today (which most soaps don't do) the character driven storyline. She saw by playing emotional beats of the human psyche, fans wrapped themselves fully into the story creating a deep loyalty for the viewers or listener and thus the continuing story was born. She was serious about her formula and how she taught to her proteges. Agnes, Bill, Ted, Betty etc.
AW was her second favorite soap and when she created in the early '60s, what she had learned and by then she had amazing proteges already writing on their own. It only happened once in soap history but AW was created by Irna & Bill Bell and Anges was HW on GL since '62 (Bert's Ovarian cancer) and brought her over to AW in '67...poof Rachel Davis is born and the rest is history. All 3 of those great writers on 1 soap...WOW!
Thanks Harlee for sharing. Very interesting.
Great informative article Harlee. Thank you for sharing with us.
Everyone is quite welcome, I thought it was fascinating article myself.
I think perhaps this is what is missing from the soap world today. All the best soap writers borrowed from their own world. Irna, Bill, Lemay Harding,
Pam Long, to name a few. I don't thing there is a single writer in soaps today that have the ability to tell an honest story with roots in reality. They are simply telling us stories they think we want to see. A good writer makes us want to know their story, not just tell us what they think we want to hear. We can be placated for a while with blasts from the past, fan fic dream stories and putting our favs up front. But these things do not really last.